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Audio: Gig Economy Regulations Leave Artists’ Futures Unclear

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Comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan is one of the many California artists and entertainers figuring out how to adapt to AB5, a piece of legislation that will upend the last decade's gig-economy labor practices. (Kearny Street Workshop)

Since Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) into law in September, many California contractors—particularly those who work regular shifts for a single company—have shown up at rallies in support of the legislation.

The new law, which will reclassify many former freelancers as employees when it takes effect on Jan. 1 next year, will grant more benefits such as paid sick leave, overtime and expense reimbursement to workers across the state.

Yet it’s still unclear how the law will affect artists and entertainers who do all kinds of gigs for all kinds of clients, and whose practices don’t always align with the legal requirements of an employer-employee relationship. 

Click the listen button above to hear the audio version of Chloe Veltman’s story about AB5 and the creative economy, part of KQED Arts & Culture’s Our Turbulent Decade series. Click here to go straight to the web story Chloe wrote on the topic.


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